AIDS Rate Increases in Iran
October 15 -- Following an Iranian Health Ministry announcement that the number of people infected with the AIDS virus has increased by 30 percent in the last year to 18,320, a former UNAIDS Officer for Iran tells Radio Farda the country has no dependable statistics for the number of those living with HIV/AIDS: "While developed countries usually document more than 80 percent of AIDS cases, in Iran only 20 to 30 percent are recorded." [article in Persian]
Sufis Arrested on "Political Charges"
October 15 -- Following another round of arrests targeting practicing Sufis (dervishes), a representative of the Nematollahi Gonabadi Sufi order says Iran's rulers believe "whoever is not with me is against me... dervishes are not politically active against the regime, they merely follow their own master." [article in Persian]
Tehran's Bazaar Launches Tax Strike
October 14 -- Former Iranian Chamber of Commerce head Mohammad Behzadian, journalist Ali Reza Ahmadi and political analyst Hassan Shariatmadari discuss the strike by merchants who closed their shops in Tehran and several other cities to protest a new sales tax on Radio Farda's weekly roundtable "Viewpoints". [article in Persian]
Student Protests at Shiraz University
October 14 -- A participant in protests against a lecture by Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani says the university was filled with security force, police and even fire department cars. Students chanted slogans against government policies when Larijani addressed Iran's "scientific and nuclear achievements". [article in Persian]
Iran's Nuclear Impasse: Will Exclusion Policy Work?
October 13 -- Johannes Reissner of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin says "excluding Iran" will not convince it to give up its nuclear program: "The final point of this exclusionist policy would be bombing Iran and that is something which particularly the West cannot handle." [article in Persian]